Our Christmas routine has existed since before I existed; Christmas Eve, we eat tamales, made by my great-grandmother (and helpers.) They are delicious, and we make so many that we munch on them well into Febuary. We buy the masa from the same little Mexican market every time, and the spreading of the masa onto the corn husk is a fine art - the kind that takes 30 minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master. It's not really that hard, but my great-grandmother's tamales definitely turn out better than mine. We watch movies. We go to Christmas Eve service. We try and wait until midnight to open the presents, but that usually lasts until 9:30, at which point the chitlins tear through their present in 5 minutes and then fall asleep. We eat, drink, and are merry. It is my family time.
This last wednesday, I spent the day snowboarding at Kirkwood with some of my best friends. If my life depended on the ability to go faster than 5 miles/hour on a snowboard, I'd be pushing up daisies. The first half of the day, the precipitation was somewhere between snow and rain, which was whipped up by 30 mile-an-hour winds to scourge my face off. At lunchtime my jacket was soaked totally through, and I had to wring my gloves out. The weather was terrible and I am terrible at snowboarding. I couldn't have imagined a better 24 hours. Well, if Jesus would have come back at the end, that would've been pretty sick. But I feel asleep that night sore, drained, and absolutely content. It was my family time.
I was born into this world as Maxwell Critchfield, and I thank GOD every day for the family with which I was blessed to be born into. But on a snowy day in December 2003, I sat on the side of a bed in a Cabin overlooking Lake Tahoe and joined GOD's family. I'm not just a part of the Critchfield family: I'm a part GOD's family, too. It is by the grace of GOD that I am able to call all who live in the power and presence of the living Jesus my brothers and sisters, and by the atoning work of the Son of GOD that I can call the creator of the universe "Daddy." It is the family of GOD that sustains me, prays with me and for me, mourns with me, rejoices with me, and shows to me the visible community of the invisible GOD. It's the Church of Jesus Christ, and it's my family. Word. Talk to you soon.
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:15-17)